P-Dub Undergrad Conference Funding

Conference Funding

Undergrad Professional Writing Majors presenting research, writing, or anything PW related at a conference may be eligible to apply to the WRAC department for funds to help with travel and conference expenses. As long as departmental funds are available, students may be awarded up to $300 by the department for a national or international conference.

In order to apply, you will need to:
1) Submit the following to the PW Program Director: A budget of expenses, including the cost of conference registration, travel to the conference city, and hotel accommodations. 
A copy of the invitation to present, and the presentation title.
2) Complete a Travel Authorization form with Diana Shank in the WRAC department room 235 Bessey.
3) Submit the documentation of your expenses promptly to Diana after you return from travelling.

For more information, contact PW Program Director Laura Julier at julier@msu.edu.

Stop. Apple Time.

Apple Watch

If you hadn’t already heard, Apple launched their latest products this past week in California. On top of updates for the iPad, MacBook, and smart home features, Apple brought out the majorly underwhelming Apple Watch, iPhone 6, and Apple Pay.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Main Features:
4.7-inch screen and 5.5-inch screen,
Enhanced camera,
Faster chip,
Improved battery life,
128GB option

$549 – $929

Mid-September for the US

Apple Watch


Not until 2015

The Apple Watch works primarily by using a dial on one side of the gadget, in contrast to rival smartwatches currently on the market. “We didn’t take the iPhone interface and shrink it and strap it on your wrist,” said Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple. “It would be terrible. Pinch to zoom doesn’t work.” To further interest in the Watch, apps are being made to work with it specifically. Such apps include Apple Pay, yet another Apple product announced this past week.

Apple Pay

Main features:
Mobile payment platform,
Connects select iPhones and the Apple Watch to credit card and payment firms,
Works by swiping contactless payment terminal

Will be coming to the US only and soon

Apple Pay is a digital payments system that will allow Apple Watch, iPhone 6 or iPhone 5 users to pay for things in shops and online by simply swiping their device against a shop sensor. Apple Pay agreements have already been signed with American Express, Visa, Mastercard, McDonald’s, Groupon, Uber and 220,000 American retailers online and off.

For more details on the newly launched Apple products, check out Adrian Weckler’s piece in Independent.ie’s Business Review.

Your Brain on Social Media


Social media has become an activity that has been ingrained into our daily routines and culture. We Instagram our food, Facebook chat our friends, tweet our feelings; social media has become, in a way, an extension of our inner workings.

Recently, AsapScience, a popular YouTube channel, created an informational video about five ways social media is affecting our brains, both the good and the bad. Since it is such an influential part of our lives, I definitely recommend you check out this article from Huffington Post, as well as the video itself.


8 Tips from Mr. Vonnegut


In 1985, Kurt Vonnegut provided writers with valuable insights in his essay, “How to Write with Style,” part of the anthology How to Use the Power of the Written Word.

As a writer, finding your voice in the written word can be a struggle; I know I’m still searching for mine. We read and hear the works of those we admire, and it can be discouraging because their voice  are clear in their words and sometimes ours isn’t as developed. However, in Mr. Vonnegut’s essay, he lists 8 rules that construct great, stylistic writing, that could definitely benefit the novice writer, or a writer embarking on a stylistic pilgrimage.

In this article from Brain Pickings, Maria Popova writes of Mr. Vonnegut’s writing advice, as well as the 8 rules aforementioned rules. For me, the most important rule was 5, in which he stressed the importance of sounding like yourself.

There are so many writers whose styles I admire. I love the satirical sass of David Sedaris and the confessional prose of Elizabeth Wurtzel. Typically, the works of those we admire is somewhere within us, too; we just need to render it in a way that is genuine to ourselves.

If you had to describe your own work, what words would you use? It’s not easy, is it? In a way, I believe that our voices are ever evolving; we change and so does our writing. But we know when our writing is true to ourselves or not; it’s sticking to the sincerity that will keep us strong as writers.